Priceless Advice

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As a child, student, parent and professional we have all been provided with guidance, and advice on how to find our way along the different paths of life.  “It’s not about winning”, “More working and less talking”, “Practice what you preach”, and “You gain more out of the mistakes you make than the success you achieve”.  I am sure they all sound familiar and will remind you of phrases heard from your past.

When I first began long arming I would look at feathers, admiring their beauty and wishing I could allow them to float across my fabric.  My biggest challenge was obtaining uniformity.  The perfection I yearned to portray on my quilt never made an appearance.  After struggling with this technique for quite some time I decided to pose my situation to an online forum.  I asked my million dollar question, “How does everyone get their feathers to look the same, mine all look different.”  I stared at the empty screen, and after several seconds an answer popped up.  The words scrolled across my monitor screen would forever change my way of designing.  The million dollar answer was “Why would you want them to be the same?”  That short sentence would be a HUGE  “Aha” moment for me and would be carried on forever in my way of quilting.   

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During my classes I can often be heard telling my students  “Don’t let anyone tell you there are rules.”  Designing opens a pathway to forgoing rules and encouraging our uniqueness.  Dare to be different, and dare to show the world you.  There isn’t always a right way, or a wrong way, but there is YOUR way.

Do you have an important piece of advice that has played a significant part of your quilting journey?  If so I loved for you to share it with me.

15 thoughts on “Priceless Advice

  1. My biggest advice is “Believe in yourself”, and keep practicing until you find your own style. Once you achieve that, then practice changing it.

  2. Exactly what I tell my students and fellow quilters! Make it your own, personalise quilt. Feathers especially, I dream feathers, and they are all a bit different!

  3. My quilting aha moment came literally after watching your class Conquer and divide. I used your method on my first quilt after getting my Sweet Sixteen- and it came out beautiful! The intimidation is gone and I feel confident in drawing my plan! I have taken many online classes on “How to quilt” but now I can apply the techniques! Thank you:)

  4. If the results of a process look identical to that which you are looking at, then you have succeeded in becoming a very good ‘camera’ but if that same object/design/motif shows some variation it is YOU, and your creativity, shining through…….CELEBRATE THAT!!!!!!

  5. When I first began quilting, a seasoned quilter friend said to me, “It’s not rocket science.” That has enabled my creativity and skill to grow over the years.

  6. My 2 pieces of advice.
    ” There is no such thing as a perfect quilt.” We all strive for it. Each and every one of us have mistakes in our quilts that we can pick out in an instant. But everyone else can never find it.
    The 2nd one ” Don’t point out your mistakes”
    Each and every quilt I do has mistakes. Each and every quilt I do I learn something new from the mistakes. So the next quilt is better from that experience.

  7. The owner of my LQS told me years ago that if you can’t see it at 3 feet away then it doesn’t exist.
    So many times what looks like a mistake at close inspection (and especially immediately after you have quilted it..oh NO!! What have i done?!?) becomes a part of the WHOLE and is not the mistake it seemed initially..

  8. I think the advice I take most to heart is “finished is better than perfect.” I now have 3 or 4 quilts to show for my year instead of nor UFOs. Enjoy your blog!

  9. My best quilting advice and aha moment came from Angela Walters who said “stop comparing yourself to others” Once I really came to accept that it removed a lot of the pressure I had been feeling.

  10. I was told that quilting isn’t brain surgery and no one is going to die if I make a mistake. Since then I approach “mistakes” like Bob Ross did, as “happy accidents” that make my quilts more interesting. Lisa, all you have to do to get feathers that are all the same is to have a computer do the quilting!!

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